Today we not only have a smartphone battle waging on between the companies in the middle and higher end bracket but also one is being fought at the lower end of feature phones by both local and international companies.
InPakistanit is interesting to note that local brands have put up a tough competition for international brands like Nokia and Samsung when it comes to feature phones and even their ads. Given the fact that companies like Qmobile and Megagate were mere distributors before coming into production their efforts are commendable. Thus establishing the common misconception that distributors are clueless when it comes to making ads is false.
Q mobile put up the most interesting line of ads last year and whatever I have seen so far this year as well. Last year its ad of the dual sim phone E-786 featuring jutt of the jutt and bond fame and another TV star was a nice ad showing superiority of the phone in various aspects over other mobiles including the price aspect as it cost a little over Rs 1900. It also had Abrar-ul-Haq in the commercial for Q E-300 and now it has another TV drama super start Syra Yousuf who is the fresh face of its E-850 commercial. It has a nice story line too which has Syra being presented before a guy who makes a good impression until his phone rings. Eventually the two get together and this time the guy doesn’t disappoint her as he gets her a Q mobile E-850. Q mobile ads always have brand ambassadors of national repute with people like Iman Ali, Humayun Saeed, and Imran Abbas etc. This technique it seems they have picked up from LG for which it acted as a distributor once. In addition the cinematography is also at par with other commercials on TV while the story line is at times average and at others good.
Qmobile first shot to popularity with its she-phone mobile endorsed by the model Iman Ali. The ad was well made and totally sensitive to feminine sensibilities which is why it worked and although the mobile cost a little over Rs 6000 it still got on with many girls.
Another mobile that has done well for itself in the advertising sphere apart from Q mobile is Megagate. It also has a price range resembling that of Qmobile with the same objective i.e. to make wider touch screens, wifi, camera and social networking available to Pakistani people who cannot afford the more expensive smartphones by foreign companies. Like the megagate swipe. The advertisement has been done wonderfully well showing a boy who wants to have a wide screen smartphone but cannot afford it until he finds megagate swipe which enables him to enjoy his college life with friends as it is the era of gadgets. Excellent cinematography and background music. Similarly in another ad many popular faces in the TV dramas have been selected to endorse megagate whereby each person owns a different megagate set, showing the accessibility and utilization of the mobile. An entrepreneur checks his email, college friends share facebook gossip and even the chai wala enjoys his music on his megagate! Again, excellent cinematography, good story line and soothing background music make for the much better commercial.
The next step for these mobile companies would be to bring in some humor like the ads of ufone which are so popular that people actually tune in to watch clips of the commercials.
Other mobiles like Club mobile, Voice andAMBmobile haven’t been as successful at advertising or selling as the above two have been. They have made animated and low budget ads which have failed to distinguish one from the other and kind of resemble those annoying khopra candy commercials, as annoying and just as bereft of content and story line.
Nokia who has a major stake inSouth AsiaandPakistanas well when it comes to the feature phones market also has its commercials made for the Pakistani market. For its X1-01 model Nokia chose regular people like a housewife who has to go through the hassle of using different SIMs to call her mother inPakistanand her sister inEngland. With X1-01 she no longer has to take one sim out and put another in as it is a dual phone with torch and excellent sound system. Another ad of the same model shows a Pathan who tries to have some fun by fooling his friend by using the dual sim function of the phone. Both ads could have been better given that Nokia is an international brand that has been around for a long time However if we look at the price of the phone and the target markets such commercials and story lines just might work since they talk of the average Joe. With no extra features like camera or wide screen to flaunt the ad focuses on the positive points of the phone and since it is Nokia people know that the quality is going to be good and not something so fragile that a single fall will finish it.
One brand that has been a major disappointed is the one that has taken the lead in the total phone sales for this quarter ending in March 2012 that is Samsung. Samsung just decided to bunchIndiaandPakistantogether into the same bundle and make identical ads for publicity. Samsung Young ads show a student who does his assignments on mobile instead of taking notes like the rest of the class. Another one shows a couple of girls who locate a place with thereGPSand taunt the guy by calling him “uncle” since he didn’t have the phone. And they just completely lost it with the Samsung Don ad which was below par in every aspect. Lack of creativity and good story line especially given the status of an international company like Samsung is thoroughly despicable.
This just goes on to show that when it comes to creativity and originality it’s not the brand name that matters but the good sense of the hand guiding the brand. Local brands like Q mobile and Megagate have immensely improved over the past years; it’s high time that international brands did justice to their budgets for advertising as well.